For weeks, in Provincetown, I stared at the plants, willing them to bud before I left.
I thought often of my father when he heard he wasn't going to live, consoling me as I cried and cried, telling me I would get used to it which would make me cry even more. He stroked my hair and said - do you think I don't want to live? Do you think I don't want to watch my children's lives grow and see them become happier? But you have to accept whatever it is.
I felt as if if the plants showed themselves before I left, my father would have seen us, slowly folding the sadness of his leaving into the mixture of our days, learning, that to taste happiness knowingly, was not to betray his memory or lose the reality of his love.
I am in New York now, where the trees are bursting with pink cherry blossoms. It's almost a year since my father left us.
Before I left Provincetown, the plants did bud. As Larkin said, their greenness is a kind of grief. And yet.
Whatever it may mean, it is spring.